The answer is- a lot of things. Voice acting is an extremely niche area in the acting world, and it can be a tough one to conquer. Firstly, disabuse yourself of the not in that voice acting isn’t ‘real’ acting. Selling a character convincingly, with nothing but your voice, is very, very much ‘acting’, and it’s acting at some of the hardest levels. If you manage to make the pinnacle of voice acting- the cartoon industry- you will even be facing the possibility of voicing an entire cartoon yourself. Making each character totally believable, totally different- using nothing but your voice. In fact, if you want to make it in this industry, it’s vital you move past the idea that it’s ever ‘just’ a voice. If you are capable of realizing your character as a real flesh and blood creation, you’ll be a step closer to mastering the craft.
No one in this industry cares if you can do ‘good voices’. They want to hear their character come to life. They very much want an actor, not someone who can twist their vocal cords a bit. With that in mind, be prepared to investigate some standard acting or drama classes as a way to further your education and potential in this field.
A good one of the voice over agencys out there can be a massive stepping stone in a voice acting career. True, with the rise of the digital age it’s no longer and absolute must to be part of a voice agency to get work- it’s become considerably easier to be a freelancer- however no one can deny having the weight and confidence of an agency behind you can help tremendously. An agent is generally one of the best ways to go, as casting directors for the big-deal projects will rarely consider someone who’ unrepresented. Remember that actors unions will be able to assist you with finding an agent. Again, while the rise of better global communication has opened the market up a lot, if you have big aspirations [particularly towards the cartoon industry] it always helps to live where the work itself is, and that generally means LA.
Your demo tape will play a huge role too, as a good demo tape is what will sell you to the client in the first place. Don’t repeat voices. Try to infuse each scenario with action, and keep those scenes different and engaging. You want the listener to go away thinking ‘what happened next’. There’s also something to be said for keeping it short and sweet. Remember yours will be one of many they’re listening to through the day.
But in the end, it will come down to the amount you practice and the confidence you have in your own abilities, too. You can’t get good at a few voices and settle back with your career made. Even those actors famous for iconic roles don’t rest solely on their ability to do that one voce. It’s about continual practice and constant development. Listen to the nuances of the voices you hear, and ground yourself firmly in how personality comes forward via the medium of speech.
Keyword: voice over agencys